Leighton Extend Their Unbeaten Run to Three Games
By Nick Marshall
Leighton come from behind to earn three valuable points.
This week Leighton travelled to South Berkshire looking to continue their winning run in the lead up to the Christmas break. In the opening minutes Leighton looked to control the game early on, moving the ball around the defence, avoiding the probing South Berks attackers. An early opportunity to take the lead fell to Tommi Lakins when he became free on goal after receiving an aerial ball from Matt Franklin. After breaking free from the South Berks defensive line, Lakins only had the keeper to beat, but the keeper was able to send him wide of the target and unable to get round the keeper before the on-rushing defence were able to cover their goal. Leighton continued to apply pressure on the Homeside and were soon rewarded with a short corner. Lakins received the ball at the top of the D and went round the first runner, he was then able to lace a pass through to first team late-comer Benji Robinson to get his first goal of the season and Leighton's opener of the day. A lapse in concentration and some wayward passes gifted South Berks two goals in to half-time.
As the second half started the home-team seemed to have switched off and the Buzzards were soon there to pick at the pieces. Lakins levelled the score, smashing the ball past the Berks keeper and into the side of the goal after receiving a through ball from Robinson. As Leighton continued to pick up the pace, a well worked piece of play between Dan Edwards
and Nick Marshall
, saw Marshall send a ball up to the halfway line where Tom Billington
expertly left the ball, fooling his marker, allowing it to reach Tummi Lakins, who then sent it on its way to Jack Gorton
on the South Berkshire 25 yard line. From here Gorton beat his defender and played the ball across the goal to Mark Stephenson
to knock it home and give the guests the lead. Leighton continued to show confidence on the ball with Laurence Leech
making dynamic runs down the flanks. However, a bouncing ball found its way through the Leighton D and defenders for an opposing forward to tap it in from a close distance and bring the game back level. A South Berks short corner was converted to a penalty flick when the ball hit a Leighton foot on the goal line. Player of the Match Dan Metcalfe dived to his right and kept the ball out of the goal and keep the visiting Buzzards in the game. This save seemed to give Leighton a boost. Marshall received the ball in the Leighton half and was able to dribble it well into Berks territory. A pass to Billington enabled him to lay the ball off to Gorton and after dancing around the defence he played the ball into the back of the net to retake the lead. As the clock ticked down Leighton continued to push for more goals and kill-off the game. A hit just outside the D was taken by Billington, passing the ball to Marshall. After beating his defender Marshall played the ball across the face of the goal to Tony Puttock, who unfortunately couldn't get on the end of it. As the final whistle blew, the Leighton players showed their relief and jubilation of securing another three point, in their push to the top of the table.
The final three games to the Christmas break, see Leighton back at Vandyke for all of them, knowing that three wins out of three will place Leighton at second heading into the final half of the season.